MANILA, Philippines – Davao City 1st District Representative Karlo Nograles will no longer seek a Senate seat in the 2019 elections.
Nograles made the announcement on Wednesday, October 3, roughly a month after his name was included in the "very possible” senatorial slate of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) for the 2019 polls.
"I am grateful for the support of all the groups and individuals who encouraged me to run for a Senate seat in 2019. However, after much introspection and after consulting members of my family, I believe that I would be able to better serve the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte by supporting the candidacies of fellow Mindanaoans who share my desire to bring development to the regions and uplift the welfare of our kapwa probinsyanos (fellow provincials),” said Nograles.
The 3rd termer lawmaker said he would instead endorse the Senate bids of Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, Bureau of Corrections chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa, and other candidates from Mindanao.
Nograles has not landed in the circle of probable winners in pre-election surveys. In the September Pulse Asia Research, Incorporated survey, he ranked 27th to 33rd.
Nograles, House committee on appropriations chairperson, decided to forego his plans to run for senator after the House leadership discovered that more than P50 billion worth of “misplaced” funds was inserted into the 2019 budget.
Nograles, ousted speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and former majority leader Rodolfo Fariñas denied "parking" the said funds to benefit favored lawmakers.
The multi-billion peso fund was also the reason why Nograles and Camarines Sur 2nd District Representative Luis Raymund Villafuerte had a shouting match with Majority Leader Rolando Andaya.
The House leadership then convened the committee of the whole that took jurisdiction over the proposed 2019 budget from Nograles’ panel and moved to realign P51.792 billion in Department of Public Works and Highways funds originally allocated for infrastructure projects in several regions to other projects of the department and other state agencies instead.
Nograles also did not participate in the ongoing plenary deliberations on the 2019 budget. The vice chairpersons of the appropriations panel are defending the budget at the plenary instead. – Rappler.com